Sonoma Raceway is one the most highly anticipated races of the NASCAR season. A road course built on a hill, the elevation change between the highest and lowest points is that of a 16-story building. Even more notable are its tall curbs and the drivers who always cut them short. Race cars up on two wheels, and sometimes fully airborne, are the norm here.

Along with NASCAR comes large crowds, a full carnival of a Fan Zone, and every form of media and television production you can imagine. NASCAR is a place where the drivers are still household names and heroes, and where these heroes are often seen mingling with their fan base.

But nothing beats the bumpin’ and jumpin’ on the track.

Pit lane at Sonoma Raceway is crowded with excited fans and VIPs during pre-race festivities.
The Patriots Jets Aerobatics team put on a show as part of the opening ceremonies.
The National Anthem flyover, performed by a pair of F-15 Eagle fighter jets from nearby Travis AFB.
Current NASCAR Cup points leader Kyle Larson during a live television interview for Fox Sports.
AJ Allmendinger interacts with the crowd during driver introductions.
Bakersfield, CA native Kevin Harvick swept the weekend with wins in both the K&N Pro Series race and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup race at Sonoma Raceway.
Kurt Busch during driver introductions. Busch won the first race of the year, the Daytona 500.
Driver of the #42 Target car Kyle Larson.
Danica Patrick pauses for fan photos.
“Road course ringer” Boris Said would pilot the #33 for the Toyota/Save Mart 350.

 

K&N Pro Series Driver Carlos Vieira in the 51Fifty Energy Drink machine, up the notoriously steep hill to Sonoma Raceway’s Turn 2.
Bill McAnally driver Derek Kraus lifts the right front over the berm in Turn 3.
NASCAR Cup driver Daniel Suarez stepped into a K&N Pro Series machine for Saturday’s race. Photo from the top of the course, near Turn 3a.
#42 Kyle Larson in the pole position, leading the field to the green flag start.
Veteran champions. Jimmie Johnson accelerates out of Turn 7 ahead of fan favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Filling in while Aric Almirola recovers from injury, Billy Johnson powers through Sonoma Raceway’s famous esses on the back stretch.
Kyle Larson slides through the esses and past the fans at high speed.
#24 Chase Elliott, #19 Daniel Suarez, and #14 Clint Bowyer make it three wide out of Turn 7.
Sonoma Raceway is one the most popular road courses in the NASCAR Cup series. 2 wheel motion is the norm in many of the corners. The red and yellow #22 of Joey Logano catches some air while chasing down the leader, #41 Kurt Busch.
#4 Kevin Harvick leads the field into Turn 9 on his way to victory at the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway.
NASCAR champ Jimmie Johnson on 2 wheels.
2 wheel motion x3! #21 Ryan Blaney, #10 Danica Patrick, #3 Austin Dillon
2 Wheel Pass! #47 AJ Allmendinger on the inside of #37 Chris Buescher chases chases down #31 Ryan Newman.
Turn 7 is always exciting, as the field piles up around the tight corner heading into the esses.
#22 Team Penske driver Joey Logano hammers the throttle out of Turn 7.
Ryan Blaney pulls out of Turn 4, headed down the hill toward the back straight.
Team Penske driver Brad Keselowski jumps the berm through the esses.

Written by Jason Wedehase

Jason Wedehase

I learned to use the camera at a race track because I was a gear head first. I thrive on the ability to tell a story, to stoke emotions and more than anything, to focus on the human condition in all parts of life.

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